Programmatic in Latin America: Marina Méndez of IPG Mediabrands -- The Jay Sears Interview

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Programmatic in Latin America: Marina Méndez of IPG Mediabrands -- The Jay Sears Interview

This is the first in a series of interviews with leading buyers titled “Programmatic in Latin America.” The conversation with continue at The Festival of Media Latin America in Miami, Florida on Thursday, October 2, 2014. For more information, please go here.

Your Name: Marina Méndez

Your Company: IPG Mediabrands

Your Title: Mediabrands Audience Platform Head, World Markets.

SEARS: Where do you read your daily news?

MENDEZ : I love reading from Twitter, Websites and e-mails -- traditional newspapers only on Sundays. Radio is mandatory while I´m driving [in the] early morning to work and later back home. Social Media is a must, couldn’t live without it. I learn a lot on daily basis from Social Media interactions.

SEARS: Today on average across Latin America -- out of each $1.00 spent on media (all media, not just digital) by one of your advertisers -- how much today is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

MENDEZ : Our blue chip companies are really taking advantage of Programmatic opportunities. It´s still a slow process but they are growing up fast across the region and depending on desired KPI´s they almost invest 12 up to 15% of their budgets on automated channels.

SEARS: What will this number be in 2016?

MENDEZ : $0.20

SEARS: What is the mission statement of Mediabrands’ Cadreon?

MENDEZ : Cadreon is a specialized marketing services platform that integrates technology, data and inventory to manage audiences for our clients. It drives Greater Precision, [Exceptional] Time Saving and Smarter Investment.

The benefits of programmatic/automation are not going to be limited solely to digital media. The first step beyond digital will be in the realm of television, specifically enhancing TV planning and execution via audience data at scale. The next TV steps will focus on Video On Demand, Over the Top Services, HH Addressable, Connected TV and Online Extensions.

SEARS: Please tell us:

SEARS: Overall managed budget (media spend) for your trading desk across Latin America, expected in 2014:

MENDEZ: at least 2.5 MM

SEARS: Percentage increase, managed budget (media spend) 2013 vs. expected 2014 across Latin America:

MENDEZ: at least 300%

SEARS: How many employees are there in your Latin American organization

MENDEZ: Total across Latin America: +1500

SEARS: What are IPG Mediabrands’ three biggest Latin American initiatives in 2014?


1) Launching Cadreon in every single market with a strong support in our Chile hub.
2) Launching Rally, our Social Media army with a unique approach that combines social media management, proprietary tools with Programmatic paid media through Cadreon.
3) Launching an exceptional start-ups strategy to allow our major clients first mover advantages in terms of apps, storytelling, gaming or new media opportunities.

SEARS: By 2016, what percentage of your holding company’s Latin American media spend will be automated or programmatic?

MENDEZ : At least 30% of overall media. Programmatic is here to stay. With Magna, we wanted to automate whatever we possibly could in the buying process not just because the industry desperately needed to have it done but also because the move toward automation allows for much more investment on higher-touch, higher- value engagement with media owners.

SEARS: Across Latin America, what markets are leaders? What markets are laggards?


Brazil -- Leader (Programmatic adoption is growing fast since is completely related to creative strategies)
Mexico -- Leader (high volumes, blue-chip companies clients and performance marketing culture, facilitate their leadership in Programmatic opportunities)
Argentina -- Leader (most of the DSP´s are currently operating locally and setting thought-leadership)
Chile -- Leader (early Programmatic adopter, currently Cadreon hub)
Columbia -- Laggard (they are making huge progresses to balance performance marketing actions driving exceptional ROI)
Peru -- Laggard (fastest growing market, this will be a real surprise soon)
Uruguay -- Laggard (related with regional business and Argentina´s growth)

SEARS: On the subject of business models, the best way to describe your company is:

a) Product organization -- i.e. you curate a media product for your agencies and advertisers
b) Service organization -- i.e. you recommend and manage best practices and best of breed products for your agencies and advertisers
c) Combination of both
d) Other

MENDEZ : There´s no secret sauces, just the correct combination of our technology based philosophy and our hyper-specialized teams to deliver efficiency and outstanding ROI. It´s about understanding contents, human behavior and technology.

SEARS: Tell us a bit more about you.

SEARS: Who was one of your first mentors as a child?

MENDEZ : My mother was my first mentor. She discovered I was different and highly creative; she encouraged me to keep trying, failing and to get better. She allowed me to skip some school grades and keep focused on curiosity.

SEARS: Money is not a concern. You no longer work in advertising or technology. What would you choose to do for work?

MENDEZ : I´d love to be full time volunteer in professional soccer management, since I´ve discovered I can help to promote the values inherent in sport and the latter’s role as an educational tool capable of contributing to social integration as well as to promote and disseminate all the cultural aspects linked to sports marketing. The invisible link between culture, sports and social inclusion becomes a happy-ending story. I´m currently part of an international program focused on “no borders education” and we´ve been getting outstanding results.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the entire world?


Thanks, Marina!

Jay Sears is Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development for the Rubicon Project. Sears workswith leadership and business unit heads across the company to expand Rubicon Project’s potential market. Sears has also served as General Manager, REVV Buyer, where he was responsible for global relations with the buy side including ad holding companies, ad agencies, agency trading desks and demand side platforms headquartered in North America. Jay can be reached at

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